Robert S. Holocaust testimony (HVT-4301) interviewed by Yannis Thanassekos and Jean-Marie De Becker
- Brussels, Belgium : Fondation Auschwitz, 2002
- Interview Date
- March 1 and 8, 2002.
- 2 copies: Betacam SP master; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
- Cite As
- Robert S. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-4301). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.
Videotape testimony of Robert S., a Catholic, who was born in Ixelles, Belgium in 1923, one of two children. He recounts attending school in Uccle; German invasion; a futile attempt to flee to France; participating in an illegal demonstration; joining a Resistance group; printing and distributing illegal pamphlets and newspapers; collecting information from others on German equipment and troop movements to convey to a superior; meeting a contact in Floriffoux, Charleroi, and other locations; arrest on January 30, 1943 in Brussels; incarceration in Avenue Louise; being beaten; transfer to Breendonk; interrogation; slave labor building embankments; praying once with a fellow prisoner; transfer to St. Gilles, then to Huy; receiving books and parcels from his parents and the Red Cross; a meeting with his parents and brother immediately prior to deportation to Vught/Hertogenbosch in March 1944; slave labor constructing earthworks, dismantling airplanes, and in a Philips factory; hospitalization; an execution; transfer to Sachsenhausen in September; a privileged position in a Heinkel factory; sabotaging the work; a death march; liberation by Allied troops; traveling to Monschau; arrest of his group as suspected collaborators; transfer to Cologne, then Verviers; returning to Brussels; reunion with his family; adjusting to “normal” life; and running his father's business. Mr. S. discusses many friends and colleagues in the Resistance and camps; camp hierarchies; his worst experiences in Breendonk; terrifying fear; not sharing his experiences for some time thinking those who were not there would not believe or understand him; and postwar visits to camps where he had been. He shows photographs.